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Splendid Venice Venezia – Starhotels Collezione
Splendid Venice Venezia – Starhotels Collezione

San Marco Mercerie 760, Venice 30124

4.0 out of 5.0
4.5 out of 5 (2,271 reviews)

Located in Venice's designer-shopping district, this hotel is 500 meters from Piazza San Marco, the Doge's Palace, the Rialto …

£114
Hotel Montecarlo
Hotel Montecarlo

Calle Specchieri 463 San Marco, Venice 30124

3.0 out of 5.0
4.3 out of 5 (1,134 reviews)

This modernised 17th-century building in Venice, formerly a convent and a palazzo, is 50 metres from Piazza San Marco, 200 …

£78
Best Western Titian Inn Hotel Venice Airport
Best Western Titian Inn Hotel Venice Airport

Via Orlanda 240, Mestre 30173

3.0 out of 5.0
4.3 out of 5 (1,311 reviews)

Located in Tessera, this hotel is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Forte Bazzera and within 6 mi (10 km) of San Giuliano Park and Casino' d …

£54
Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice
Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice

Riva Degli Schiavoni, 4196, Venice 30122

5.0 out of 5.0
4.3 out of 5 (690 reviews)

This historic Venice hotel, dating from the 14th century, is located on Riva degli Shiavoni overlooking the Venice lagoon and …

£238
Hotel Nazionale
Hotel Nazionale

Lista di Spagna, 158, Venice 30121

3.0 out of 5.0
3.6 out of 5 (1,112 reviews)

This traditional Venice hotel is in the Cannaregio neighborhood, close to the Santa Lucia railway station, the Jewish Quarter …

£362
Hotel A LA Commedia
Hotel A LA Commedia

San Marco 4596 A, Venice 30124

4.0 out of 5.0
4.8 out of 5 (904 reviews)

This stately hotel is situated opposite the Goldoni Theater in the heart of Venice's historical center, 50 meters from Rialto …

£117
Hotel Dona Palace
Hotel Dona Palace

San Marco 391, Venice 30124

4.0 out of 5.0
4.3 out of 5 (671 reviews)

Built in the 15th century by a Venetian noble family, this converted palace overlooks a side canal off Venice's Grand Canal …

£82
Venice Resort
Venice Resort

Via Triestina, 153, Mestre 30030

4.0 out of 5.0
4.1 out of 5 (980 reviews)

This family-friendly Mestre hotel is located near the airport, 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Forte Bazzera, and within 6 mi (10 km) of …

£50
Palace Bonvecchiati
Palace Bonvecchiati

San Marco, Venice 30124

4.0 out of 5.0
4.6 out of 5 (583 reviews)

Opened in 2004, this contemporary 70-room Venice hotel lies on the main street between St Mark's Square, 175 meters away, and …

£176
Hotel Palazzo Stern
Hotel Palazzo Stern

Dorsoduro 2792, Venice 30123

4.0 out of 5.0
4.6 out of 5 (254 reviews)

Located on the Grand Canal, this Venice hotel is within one-quarter kilometer of Ca' Foscari University of Venice, the Palazz …

£203

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Pocket Guide: Venice

Venice is known by a number of nicknames: the city of water, the city of bridges, queen of the Adriatic, and the city of light. This range of names points to the difficulty of trying to capture the intangible quality of this most unique of cities. Indeed, Venice has been performing something of a magic trick for well over a millennia: built on 118 tiny islands, with a marshy lagoon as its base, the city has managed to defy gravity for more than a thousand years.

Classic highlights

Even if you haven't visited Venice, you've probably already seen images of its classic highlights: gondolas on the Grand Canal, the gothic Doge's Palace, and the pigeons on St Marks Square. You can rest assured that the reality of these places is every bit as majestic as the postcard pictures make them out to be.

More than just a series of famous snapshots, however, Venice is a mesmerizing, mysterious city laced with hints of melancholy. Once a major maritime power, Venice continues to survive largely because of the tourist trade, with the number of actual residents dwindling year after year. Ever-increasing flooding wreaks havoc on architecture, while the summer's heat can make the city feel almost swamp-like. Decadent palaces stand next to decaying houses, glorious restoration next to gloomy ruin, making the city nothing short of a floating museum - but in many ways this is also its barrier to modernization.

Mix of contrasts

This profound mix of contrasts makes Venice a fascinating destination. As it struggles to find a balance between preserving the rich cultural heritage on which it depends and carving out an identity as a still-living city in the 21st century, Venice remains one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

The reputations of the signature tourist 'musts' are well-deserved, but the discoveries you make by getting lost in Venice's winding streets and canals are equally rewarding. Exploring your extraordinary surroundings is sure to make you sigh in disbelief. One of Venice's most famous bridges, in fact - just one of over 400 bridges connecting Venice's islands - is called the Bridge of Sighs.

Artists' inspiration

Even the light in Venice is different; the reflection off the water has provided inspiration for many artists. The Accademia Gallery holds several Venetian masterpieces, and you'll notice the play of light in many of its painting. The unusual light is far from being the city's only special quality. Visit during Carnevale and you'll see a glamour you thought no longer existed. Also well worth a visit is Venice Biennale, Europe's classiest international forum for contemporary art.

Cars aren't allowed in Venice, so you'll get to know the city by walking or riding vaporetti (public water buses - an alternative to the more expensive water taxis or gondolas, although it's worth splashing for a romantic evening out). Venice is notoriously crowded (and expensive), but people come for good reason. There is no other city like it in the world - its culture and canals, basilicas and bridges continue to leave visitors marveling. Despite its uncertain future, Venice hasn't lost its magic.